Coronavirus Chronicles: Idris Elba Tests Positive

March 16, 2020–Actor Idris Elba on Monday revealed that he has tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19).

“This morning I tested positive for Covid 19,” the actor tweeted. “I feel ok, I have no symptoms so far but have been isolated since I found out about my possible exposure to the virus. Stay home people and be pragmatic. I will keep you updated on how Iā€™m doing. No panic.”

In a video, Elba added: “I didn’t have any symptoms. I got tested because I realized I was exposed to someone who had also tested positive. I found out last Friday that they were tested positive. I quarantined myself and got a test immediately and got the results back today.”

The actor also urged his followers to “really think about social distancing, washing your hands.” Continued Elba, “Beyond that, there are people out there who aren’t showing symptoms and that can easily spread it, OK? So now’s the real time to be really vigilant about washing your hands and keeping your distance, OK?”

“Transparency is probably the best thing for this right now. If you’re feeling ill or you feel like you should be tested or you’ve been exposed, then do something about it, alright?” he also said. “It’s really important.”

Elba joins a growing list of notable names in entertainment who have contracted the virus. Beloved Hollywood spouses Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have tested positive for the illness, as has Ukraine-born actress and model Olga Kurylenko. In the executive ranks, Universal Music chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge was hospitalized for treatment of COVID-19 over the weekend.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, has also tested positive for the coronavirus. Elba had recent contact with Gregoire Trudeau on March 4 at WE Day 2020 at The SSE Arena, Wembley in London, where the pair posed for pictures together.

The worldwide outbreak of the coronavirus has sickened nearly 170,000 people and left more than 6,500 dead, with thousands of new cases confirmed each day. The death toll in the U.S. has climbed to 64, while infections have passed 3,700.

Aside from forcing numerous nations to close borders, the coronavirus has had a substantial impact on the entertainment industry. High-profile TV projects that have ceased production include new seasons of ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy and The Bachelorette; FX’s Pose; Apple’s The Morning Show; and Fox’s final installment of Empire. On the film side, projects that have pressed pause include Fantastic Beasts 3; Jurassic World: Dominion; The Prom; the untitled Elvis Presley biopic starring Hanks; and Sony’s Cinderella musical, starring Camila Cabello and Billy Porter, among others.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti have ordered all movie theaters in their cities to close amid the global pandemic, an unprecedented move for two of the nation’s biggest cities.
Under the direction of New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, it was also announced last week that all Broadway shows in New York City will suspend performances immediately, with performances set to pick back up on April 13.

Talk shows ā€” both late-night and daytime ā€” have also ceased production, including The Wendy Williams Show, Tamron Hall, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Kelly Clarkson Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Late Night With Seth Meyers, among others.

In addition to New York’s GLAAD Media Awards, other entertainment industry events have been canceled or postponed because of the viral outbreak, including SXSW, Coachella and the Game Developers Conference.